The element of surprise

As I was leaving for the studio at about 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, I saw a suspicious-looking stranger strolling among the cars in our parking area. Every so often he would peer into one of the windows to see what exciting goodies lay within. He was empty-handed, so obviously he hadn’t yet found anything worth taking. I suppose he could have been a freelance vehicle upholstery inspector, but I have my doubts.

It was annoying enough to have a thief wandering around unmolested in our ‘security’ block, but his unhurried, casual attitude really ground salt into the wound. There was nothing furtive or nervous about him – it was as if he was perfectly entitled to be there. Just doing a bit of window shopping.

He didn’t notice me, so I approached him quietly and just as he leaned over to examine another vehicle interior, I bellowed, “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?” in my best drill-sargeant voice. His relaxed demeanour evaporated instantly and he became a blurred streak. His progress was briefly thwarted by the locked gate, but he managed to vault the boundary wall without breaking a sweat and disappeared down the road at superhuman speed. Another Proudly South African sporting achievement.

It was rather gratifying to see a strip of cloth flapping on the security spikes at his point of egress.

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